3 Habits Putting Your Brand In Danger With AfrillennialsIn Afrillennial, Marketing, Trends
Afrillennials are always at the pulse of what’s happening around them. This means keeping up with trends and knowing whose who in the scheme of all things – ‘Brand Me’ is a top priority. That’s why this week we are telling it like it is, here’s how to avoid the three brand habits putting you in danger with the youth.
Danger Alert!: “No idea under the sun is new”
These are the famous last words of brands that try to give an interpretation or a “different take” to an already established culture, or even a subculture. A recent example of this is the raging battle that started because of Zara’s appropriation of Laduma’s ‘Maxhosa’ brand that got them under fire for “plagiarism”.
Even if proven innocent, the fact that the youth jumped in defence of the local designer whose work was “misappropriated” already serves as a notice to Zara for their lack of originality. This will make it hard for the youth to trust the brand’s future releases, no matter how epic or unique.
How could this have been handled differently? Upon realizing that there is already a well established South African designer with similar prints to their current campaign, the European giant should have opted for collaboration with ‘Maxhosa’. This would have completely changed the narrative from “misappropriation” to “uplifting” of an already phenomenal local designer!
Danger Alert!: “Fake is the only new trend and everyone seems to be in style”
“Fake Deep” is a social media phenomenon where people appear to be who they are not – this includes trying too hard to be “smart”, “woke” or sympathetic to social issues. With brands, this is usually seen during public holiday campaigns or major “news events” where brands suddenly develop a previously non-existent stance on these important issues.
Afrillennials see right through this but there are brands we can learn from who have made public issues part of their brand identity, the king among them is Nando’s…
Nando’s launched a Human Rights campaign where social media users could add their name to a sign-up list to propose to spell check to recognize African names.
This campaign solidified Nando’s as not just a fast food brand but a brand that truly celebrates the diversity in South Africa.
More importantly, this campaign spoke directly to ‘Brand Me’- answering the biggest question brands often neglect when dealing with the Afrillennial market – “What will this do to enhance my personal brand?”
Danger alert!: “You are only as good as your last show”
Afrillennials are suckers for good content which means that the wheel has to keep rolling and brands can’t rest post campaign, thinking that they have hit the mark! Repetition of content is necessary over a certain time limit but after a while it’s starts to get tedious and may underestimate the impact the brand is trying to make with a campaign.
“There’s nothing more annoying than seeing the same content on your timeline for a long period of time. It really starts to feel like it’s being forced down our throats and that the brand is trying too hard”, says Lerato Masera, Media Studies postgraduate at UNISA.
Repeat with a variation: for every campaign, you are running as a brand, try creating different variations of the material.
If you are running a video campaign around entrepreneurship, it’s advisable to have multiple short versions instead of relying on one long video to get your message across!
Is Your Brand Out Of Danger?
Gaining Afrillennial trust is not an easy task. This is a market that is fully aware of what they want, what works for them and most importantly, which brands resonate with them the most. The time for cheap marketing techniques needs to go to bed so that room can be made for campaigns that really make an impact on the lives of the youth.
We could suggest that you hire an entire Afrillennial Research division to get to the bottom of what Afrillennials really want, but that would be a “danger” to our brand and a disservice to yours. Rather contact our team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 885 3918 so we can make your next campaign unforgettable!